Texas Asks For Your Vote In The Fight Against Cancer - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/2/07

Texas Asks For Your Vote In The Fight Against Cancer

Early voting polls close at 8 p.m. Friday. On the ballot, you will see 16 propositions and one is asking for your support in the state's fight against cancer.

Proposition 15 asks you to give a thumbs up to $3 billion in bonds over the next 10 years. That money would fund the Cancer Prevention and Research institute of Texas.

People like Governor Rick Perry and many in the South Plains medical community support it. However, some question paying interest on bonds, when there is enough money in the budget to fund the program.

Proposition 15, it is a constitutional amendment that has the support of notables like Lace Armstrong and many right here on the South Plains.

Texas Tech School of Medicine Professor Cynthia Jumper said there is support. "Not only in the cancer world but among all the physicians in healthcare personal," she said.

Proposition 15 would create the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. The institute would then make grants available to public or private institutions, state universities and medical schools such as Texas Tech.

"So this money would go into research. The Southwest Cancer Center is connected with the Texas Tech School of Medicine. We have very active researchers here at the basic level and at the clinical research level," Jumper said.

Senator Robert Duncan told NewsChannel 11, "Texas Tech University would benefit from this. We have, I think, a growing research component at the Health Sciences Center along with the academic institution."

If passed, the state could use up to $300,000 in bonds a year for cancer research, prevention and early detection programs. However, it is a proposition that State Representative Delwin Jones is against.

"Concern is that $3 billion of borrowed money will cost us $4.6 billion to pay off. So that's $1.6 billion of interest that's going to go some lending institution and we had enough money on hand that we could have funded the entire program this last session," Jones said.

There is also a citizen group out of Austin against the proposition, arguing it's a deferred tax increase.

If it does pass, Texas would be one of the first states to create a state run cancer institute.

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